Camping Gear – What about it – 1
For the next month or so I’m going to right about the gear I use when camping and traveling. Each post will cover a few pieces of gear or so. My impression and the over all performance of my gear may bring about some ideas and questions, this article may just entertain you, lets hope for at least that. Anyway you see it, I’ll have fun writing it.
I’m not a professional but I do have over 50 years of camping behind me and I enjoy the hell out of it. My parents,the boy scouts and lets not forget good ole trial and error as well as the school of hard knocks providing my experience. I found out along time ago that keeping things simple, the simpler things get when out on the road.
Camping gear must be dependable first of all. Dependable equipment is vital for safety and your enjoyment, how it’s used and how you take care of it will enhance your experience. Equipment that breaks down is no fun, I’ve been there. The equipment I own is dependable and simple to use . It’s the simplicity in its use that creates a great experience.
From the examples of what I use, it may seem like it’s just a tent or just a sleeping bag. It’s their simplicity combined with their dependability that defines their worth. Simple equipment is not Pretentious, it’s easy to maintain and will add many years to the life of your gear if taken care of correctly. Remember, if you take care of your equipment, your equipment will take care of you. I know, it all may seem obvious to most but taking the time to inspect your gear, fix, mend or repair as quick as possible will prevent future headaches.
The typical tent provides basic shelter, that’s easy to figure out but what is really important? There are many considerations to visit obviously when choosing your tent. For instance, I find these next two questions the most important; how long do you intend to spend in your tent in one stretch? Then there’s, what type of weather will I be camping in, good, bad, a little of both maybe? If you answer those two questions, choosing your tent or most gear in fact will become much easier in the final decission.
I’ve been using a three-season tent – Spring, Summer and Fall. The snow, not so much any more. The Alps Mountaineering Meramac 3 is a free-standing, easy to set-up and it works well in all types of weather. Stake the tent down with a T-6 aluminum MSR Groundhog Stake Kit and this tent stands up to the task of shelter even more so.
Spending 2 weeks or more at a time out in the elements, dealing with torrential rains, wind storms, heat waves and of course some snow occasionally, the Meramac 3 works very well. The 9 mm poles handle the gusts while maintaining its shape, even gusts up to 60-70 mp. It sucks up the wind like a palm tree, never collapsing, just bending in the wind. It stayed dry after more than 18 hours of constant rain and is roomy enough to cook in, real handy when the weathers bad.
Fortunately for me there have been many more good days than bad weather days and the tent has held up awesomely. This 3-person shelter is spacious, it provides plenty of space for your gear, your dog and a comfortable space for yourself as well. It has plenty of ventilation, add the insulated side curtains I made and it elevates the comfort level even more so at temperatures below freezing, trust me.
Military Modular Sleep System (MSS)
Toss in a Modular Sleep system and your good to -30 degrees below zero, that’s what it says on the tag anyway. The modular bag system comes with two individual bags, each made for a specific temperature range that can be used independently. Snap the two bags together, add the cortex bivouac cover, the Coleman self-inflating sleeping pad underneath and your set for maximum coldness while being very comfortable to sleep in. No complaints on this set-up so far.
The system is built well and easy to mend. Gizmos bag ripped somehow and having a sewing kit paid off. Just another item that makes life easier on the road. It also comes in handy if you know how to sew. Thanks Mom.
Technology and camping
This is where it gets interesting for me, I love technology, I love to use technology. My phone provides music, video and word processing using MS Word, while the keyboard makes things that much easier to type out, the trendwo speaker system sounds great and the battery back-up comes in handy for obvious reasons.
I could go on and on. The good news is that I’m done. You guys know pretty well what you need when you get out into the wilderness, So I’m just going to post a bunch of photos. You’ll get the idea.
Thanks for visiting.
The Camp Kitchen – Keep it simple
Traveling light can be a challenge. For me though the concept of KISS rings true. Keep it simple silly, the complicated it is done it adds to the space requirements. Little space equals little things to use. I try to find camping equipment that can be used for other applications.
Useful Links on Equipment
Get out and make it happen